The Mount Desert Island Historical Society published the 19th issue of our annual journal, Chebacco, in 2018. Titled “Beholding the Past,” we presented stories based on objects from the collections of History Trust members, and other organizations.   

We included, among other things, a 1913 Peugeot from the Seal Cove Auto Museum, a sterling silver coffee pot from the Minneapolis Institute of Art, an alleged relic of the 1613 Saint Sauveur mission from the Southwest Harbor Library, 200-year-old shoes that had been concealed in the wall of a house on Great Cranberry Isle (view item at Great Cranberry Island Historical Society »), a sunken garden at College of the Atlantic, bird specimens collected in the 1880s held by the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology, and John Snow’s postcard basket from the Abbe Museum,  

“Beholding the Past” made the point that such treasures are meant to be shared, not merely kept in storage. Viewers should be able to appreciate and understand the meaning of such historical materials. 

The History Trust makes the collections of island history accessible to scholars through the digital archive so more projects like “Beholding the Past” will be possible. And, the public can easily access island collections online to behold and appreciate evidence of our communities’ past. 


Header Photo by Ann Grulich, “Concealed shoes (early 1800s) recovered from the Parsonage chimney 2013,” Great Cranberry Island Historical Society …view item »